Butter is a dairy product that is a product of agitating cream or whole leaving a solid clump of the fats in the milk. The liquid that separates from the solids is called buttermilk. The The process of agitating the cream till the solids separate and form is called churning.
Butter is used as a condiment as well as an ingredient for cooking and baking. Commercial butter is usually made from cow’s milk but can be made from other mammals as well such as goat, sheep or buffalo. Butter in the US sometimes has salt added while butter in Europe is mostly salt free.
Butter is an emulsion of butterfat and water at about 80% fat to 15% water. It remains a solid at refrigerated temperatures, softens at room temperature and
Cultured butter is made from fermented cream which turns sugars into lactic acid during the fermentation giving the final product a sharper flavoring. This is how European butter is produced and some types are being produced this way in the US now as well.
Salt was added to butter as a preservative originally and flavor to both cultured and uncultured butters.
A Middle Eastern product that can be aged up to two years, mixed with herbs it is used as a spread.
Raw Cream Butter
Butter in its purest form made from raw unpasteurized cream, straight from the cow.
Sweet Cream Butter
Made from pasteurized cream and comes in salted and unsalted. This is the typical butter you find in US groceries.
Butter that has been simmered until the milk fats separate and sink. The butter is skimmed off the top and used in cooking. Butter without the butter fat has a higher smoke point and can be heated higher and longer. Ghee or clarified butter is an essential ingredient in Indian cuisine. Mixed with a bit of olive oil raised the smoke point more and can be used for sauteing.
Sweet cream butter, same.
Butter with nitrogen gas whipped in so spreading is made easier by remaining soft at refrigerated temperatures.
European Style Butter
Cultured butter and some specialty type of butters made for pastry making and baking.
A product that has a high melting point and keeps for longer periods. Used mainly in areas of higher temperatures.
Used in ice cream making.
Butter and vegetable oils mixed to make a spreadable product at refrigerator temperatures. Dairy blends contain at least 50% dairy.
Other types of Reduced Fat Spreads
Lower percentage of fat from dairy at around 30% with remainder of ingredients being flavorings, water and oils.